Gun control: Facts about Switzerland flushed out

Response to earlier letter about about gun control.

To the editor:

A recent contributor to the letters section made the somewhat fallacious claim that “in Switzerland, the government issues every household a gun. Switzerland’s government trains every adult they issue a rifle”

Men in Switzerland are subject to compulsory military service after which they keep their personal equipment, including weapons, but not ammunition.

Here are relevant quotes from Wikipedia:

“The Military of Switzerland perform the roles of Switzerland’s militia and regular army. Under the country’s militia system, professional soldiers constitute about five per cent of military personnel; the rest are male citizen conscripts 19 to 34 (in some cases up to 50) years old.

“The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personally assigned weapons, at home, however, not ammunition.

“Compulsory military service concerns all male Swiss citizens, with women serving voluntarily. Males usually receive initial orders at the age of 18 for military conscription eligibility screening.

“About two-thirds of young Swiss men are found suitable for service, while alternative service exists for those found unsuitable.

“Annually, approximately 20,000 persons are trained in basic training for a duration from 18 to 21 weeks.

“Basically, the sale of automatic firearms selective fire weapons and certain accessories such as silencers is forbidden, as is the sale of certain disabled automatic firearms which have been identified as easily restored to fully automatic capability.”

These are the facts, they are quite different from the unqualified statement that the Swiss government issues every household a gun.

Harri Henschler,

West Kelowna